Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coconut Biscotti

This is a great recipe! My whole family loves it and it is great for gift giving. I found some slender, cellophone bags at Michael's, like those for bagging chocolate covered pretzels. You can slip one biscotti in and tie it with a pretty ribbon. Together with an inexpensive mug and a small package of coffee, you have a nice gift.

Coconut Biscotti
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 c. unrefined sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 300.
2.Combine flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.
3. Blend sugar, eggs, and vanilla at medium speed 2 minutes.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and add coconut. This will be sticky.
5.Knead dough several times on a floured surface and shape into a log, about one inch high.
6. Place on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment.
7. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
9. Slice with a serrated knife into about 20 slices.
10. Stand slices upright on baking sheet and bake 20 minutes more.
11. Cool on a wire rack.
12. Optional: Drizzle with chocolate or dip half in melted chocolate. If drizzling, simply melt chocolate chips in the microwave and place in a ziploc bag. Snip off the end and drizzle.

I like to make mine a little chewier than traditional biscotti for the boys. If you'd rather have it harder, leave in a little longer.

Enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee!

From our home to yours,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Green Drink!

Many people ask me about Green Drink! I posted on our family blog a while back, but for those don't follow that blog, I'd like to post it here as well.

For us, Green drink is basically a combination of fruits and vegetables blended together in the form of a smoothie. It has really helped boost our immune system and we rarely get sick. If we do, I just make more green drink!

If you would like a recipe, here is the one I started with:

1 cup green grapes
1 orange, peeled
1/2 Bartlett pear
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 cup kale or spinach
1/2 cup water
2 cups ice cubes

We would double it for our family of six.

Here is one I made the other day from start to finish.
-Frozen Strawberries
-3 bananas

Below is everything stuffed into my Vitamix. My husband bought this for me for Christmas last year. It is the best gift he has ever given me, besides my boys and the most expensive. It is a very expensive machine, but it can do so many amazing things. I LOVE it!

If you do not have a Vitamix, no worries, you can still make a Green Drink. I made one at my mom's house with a regular blender. You just might want to cut the pieces of fruit smaller instead of putting them in large pieces like I have below.
Blend it up and drink it! It is just that simple.

A few tips:
-Locally grow kale can be purchased for less than a dollar at local grocery stores
-If you do not think your children will like the green hue add lots of blueberries.
- We have used almost every green (spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, etc.) and the only one they haven't like are mustard greens.
-Add ice if you are not adding frozen fruit.
-You can really add any fruit or vegetable you like. i.e. carrots, pineapple, zucchini
-Instead of water you can add juice, coconut milk, milk or yogurt
-Seeds and nuts are also great additions. i.e. flax seed, almonds, walnuts
-I have also added oatmeal
-For protein, add any nut butter or silken tofu (creamy and no flavor)
The possibilities are endless. I'd love to hear your favorite combination!
From our home to yours,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday, November 15, 2009
Cereal and Green Drink
Lunch at church
M-chili macaroni (freezer meal), broccoli

Monday, November 16, 2009
Oatmeal bake, yogurt (homemade), oranges
spinach rice balls (never got to have them last week) and pineapple
V – Garlic Soup, salad & bread

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Homemade Frozen waffles, green drink
Taco soup (freezer meal-Thanks Dawn!), oranges
M- Smothered chicken w/garlic, rice, sautéed kale

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Toast, yogurt (homemade), bananas
Ham and cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks, applesauce (from freezer)
V-Spaghetti w/garlic and oil, salad

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Gingerbread (from freezer), Green Drink
Sandwiches (tuna or PB&J), pepper strips, oranges
M-meatloaf (freezer meal-Thanks Dawn!), roasted potatoes and carrots, spinach with garlic and oil

Friday, November 20, 2009
Cereal, banana
V- Pepperoni/Cheese Pizza, salad

Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thanksgiving Vacation
As you can see we are eating a lot from the freezer, as well as, a lot of GARLIC! Let me explain!

We will be heading up to see Mom and Dad for Thanksgiving and I want to take advantage of all of our freezer meals before we go. It will be a huge blessing to not have to cook as much while I am trying to pack and teach this week. This is a great benefit for having a freezer full of food. We'll also be able to take snacks from the freezer as well. for the garlic! When mom was here in October, she bought us a huge braid of garlic for $5 at B.J.'s. I should have counted the bulbs. I'm guessing about 30-40! We love garlic and have used up at least half of it. I'd like to use up the rest before we head out, thus all the garlic meals. I am sure none of my guys will mind. Usually, all they have to smell is garlic and they get excited for dinner.

Posts I am hoping to share with you this week:

-green drink
- A lot of you ask me what I eat being a vegetarian/vegan (I flucuate). I'll share how I work around the meat in my home at meal time.
-One recipe from above, if there is one in particular you'd like, let me know in the comments section

Please check out Organizing Junkie for more ideas and menu plans.

From Our Home to Yours,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lentil Soup with Kale

I LOVE lentil soup, always have, even as a kid! My family on the other hand, not so much. However, it is so good for you and so inexpensive that I was determined to find a recipe that they would eat. I love this recipe for several reasons, #1 being it is in the crockpot and #2 because it has kale. Kale is hard to get into my boys unless it is in this soup or a green drink.

I found it in a book called, Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, by Robin Robertson. She is a vegan chef that I really like. She has lots of other cookbooks and a blog that are all very good.

Here is the recipe with my adaptions:

Lentil Soup with Kale

Throw the following into your crockpot:

-1 onion chopped
-1 or 2 celery rib chopped
-1 or 2 carrots chopped
-2 chopped garlic cloves
-1 1/4 c. lentils, picked over and rinsed
-6 c. veggie broth ( I used my garlic broth)
-1 tbs tamari or other soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Cook in your crockpot on low or high until the lentils are soft. (I am hesitant to give times as my crockpot cooks very fast.) I cook on high if I am serving for lunch and low for dinner. Sometimes I will also throw some barley in.

Chop your kale into bite size pieces, or even smaller as it can be tough to chew. Boil it in salted water for 5 minutes and add before you are ready to eat.

We serve with parmesan cheese. My husband puts hot sauce on it, but then again, he puts hot sauce on everything! I also serve with bread and maybe fruit.

All of my boys will eat this recipe and even ask for seconds. It used to be that whenever we served lentils, I would offer them a special dessert because it wasn't their favorite, but since I began making this recipe, I don't have to do that anymore and that is saying something...

This recipe is great for a cool, rainy day such as this. Let me know if you give it a try.

From our home to yours,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (well actually Tuesday!)

One of the things I do each Sunday to make my life easier during the week is make a menu plan for the week. It takes a bit of time, but it is worth it, especially as the week goes on. It takes the guess work out of dinner time.

I will plan on posting my menu for the week each Monday, but for this week, since I am just starting, lets go with Tuesday!

Sunday, November 8, 2009
Eggs and toast
Beans and salad
M-mini meatloaves, maple walnut sweet potato mash, frozen veggies

Monday, November 9, 2009
Cereal, green drink
sandwiches (tuna or pb & j) pepper strips, chips, fruit
V-Black Bean Soup in Crockpot

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Homemade Frozen waffles, fruit
Lentil soup with Kale in crock, fruit
M- burgers, fries, corn

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Toast, green drink
Frozen pizza, carrot sticks, fruit
V-Mashed potato pancakes, green beans, corn

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Banana bread, Green Drink
Sandwiches (Tuna or PBJ, fruit)
M-Saucy Mexican Chicken, Rice and veggies

Friday, November 13, 2009
Cereal, fruit
International Fair (homeschool event)
V- Pepperoni/Cheese Pizza, salad

Saturday, November 14, 2009
spinach rice balls and fruit
M – Spaghetti with meatballs, salad

A few notes...

I try to alternate between vegetarian/vegan meals and meat based meals, thus the V and M before each dinner post.

I will try to post a new recipe with each menu.

Please check out Organizing Junkie for more ideas and menu plans.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baking/Freezing Day - Part 1

Today I participated in a Baking/Freezing Event with some other bloggers. Though I have done this sort of thing before, I am excited to be able to blog about now.

My original list of things I wanted to bake and freeze today was:
-vegan, chocolate almond cookies
-pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
-vegan ginger bread
-rye bread x2
-garlic broth
Here is what I was able to accomplish:

Not as much as I hoped, but I had to squeeze it in while homeschooling the boys. I made 2 large rye breads (they are stacked on top of each other), 2 dozen pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, 4 mini gingerbread loaves, and lots and lots of garlic broth. I also made 2 dozen mini pumpkin muffins, but they were devoured before picture time!

All but the large rye bread is going into the freezer. We ate half of that bread for dinner tonight and the other half will be for lunch tomorrow. It is so wonderful to have the ability to pull out healthy snacks for the boys at a moments notice.
As far as the broth goes, I know that seems a little weird. Let me start by saying that I make a lot of soup, which means I need a lot of broth. Store bought broth is too expensive for me to have for every recipe. If it is on sale and I have a coupon, I'll buy it. I have also bought it in bulk, but that is for another post. Therefore, most of the time, I make it from chicken bones, beef bones, turkey bones, veggies and this time from garlic. It is so simple, so inexpensive, so good for you, and so delish. My husband had two bowls full by itself before I got it ready for the freezer and the house smelled wonderful!
I don't really have a recipe to share, but this is what I did.

When I cut onions for recipes, I keep the ends and skins for broth. I just keep them in the fridge in a small container and when I make broth I throw them in the pot. Today I was using a crockpot, so I threw those in, along with a carrot, and 2 bulbs of garlic cut in half (skins on).

Then I added some spices, sea salt, multi-colored peppercorns and thyme. (I buy my spices in bulk, thus the large containers.)

Then I simply added enough water to fill the crockpot and turned it on low. By lunch time it was done. I strained out the veggies, cooled the broth and put it into containers. Then I did it all over again and by dinner I had another batch.
I am stocked for a while now. When it is time to make soup, I simply go to the freezer and pull out one or two and use it as my broth in whatever soup I am making.
In the middle of all this, I made dinner. That is what you see below. I sauteed some onion and green pepper, added it to some rice, cubed chicken, beans, and diced tomatoes. I stirred in some cheddar and then topped it with cheddar. That was our dinner. It was a hit and it was simple. I served it with some green beans and rye bread.
From our home to yours,


After a lot of deliberation I have decided to take the plunge and begin this blog. I am very excited for the opportunity to share my passion for food, cooking, and management in the kitchen.

It is my intention to blog several times a week and share lots of ideas and recipes with you. If you like what you see, please feel free to subscribe to this blog.

From our home to yours,